Just some stuff

There are many things I could write about tonight, so the question becomes, where is my passion right now? What is burning to get out? What needs to be released, or lost, aflutter on the breeze or buried in the long term memory banks, not to be seen or heard from again until some night as an old man a thousand miles from here? What indeed.

I suppose the quickest and easiest thing to do, if not necessarily the most insightful is just to make note, tick off the items that I’ve accomplished lately. How about that? That’s a reasonable start at least.

  • My application to Concordia University is ready to go. A bit of a revelation behind that. Its due tomorrow. I finished it today. See what I’ve discovered about myself, or rather accepted is that I work best under stress. That’s a positive way of saying that I procrastinate. And why not be positive about it? I mean if that’s the way I am, why be any other way? Planning, preparing, taking your time and being careful – that shit’s for chumps. Give me a three alarm deadline in half an hour – that’s when I shine. Ask for the impossible and you’ll get it. Ask for the possible and I’ll probably sleep in.
  • I bought a Macbook Pro. Now this is kind of a counter to the prior point because I planned the hell out of this one. Extensive research into Apple’s product rollouts told me that something was going to happen at the end of February, so I waited, and fastidiously kept track of the pricing on my particular model of choice. Sure enough when I looked today I found rumours circulating that Apple was upgrading its Macbooks to a new processor and a push was on to get rid of the old. When I looked at my model there it was… $650 cheaper. Bang! Sold! Should arrive sometime next week. Did I mention I hate Macs?
  • Carmella asked me to go to Cuba with her. She found a great deal and she’s going stir crazy and needs to get off this big glob of dirt we call North America. Fair enough. Trick is she wants to go SOON. How the heck am I going to get the time off? How the heck am I going to pay for it? Sure I just saved $650, but does that entitle me to blow it on a week in Cuba? Then again, she has a good point – once Castro’s gone things will start to change down there very quickly. Tempting…

Nuit Blanche is Saturday night. Best English translation is all night city wide art party. I have no idea where to go or what to do, but hell, its going to be fun. Chriz might even drop in for the night. Tomorrow night is the more pressing concern. Which of two or three parties to go to? I wussed out on the Pound tonight since I’ve got to deliver my application before work tomorrow and see if I can get an April 1 takeover for one of the St. Henri lofts. I still wussed out. Whatever. There’ll be plenty of time to boogey. I need to get some things done first.

Wow. What an efficient blog post. Not entirely profound or entertaining, but it gets the job done. Perhaps a 20/20 travelogue in hindsight for Chriz and I’s little Dominican adventure next. Why not?

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Work

You know what I miss about Calgary? Its not the mountains, the clean air, the incredulous civic pride or even the people (sorry guys). The thing I miss most about Calgary, boom time Calgary, is the power I held over the head of my employers. Shit man. How fucking awesome was that? I could dictate my hours, my days off even get time and a half just for coming in or staying late. All that was required was the threat that I might leave and I got everything I wanted. Not so now.

The biggest obstacle to my really enjoying myself and getting the most out of life here in Montreal is my schedule. I only get three out of seven nights off and those nights are invariably Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – not exactly peak times for happenings about town or more importantly nights I want to create happenings. I could go back to mornings, but anything before 6am is pretty much lethal to my owl’s internal clock. Another alternative is applying for part time which has more varied shifts, but that would probably lead to troubles come school time. But hell, where there’s a will there’s a way. Spring and summer schedule will be a different beast from what I’ve dealt with in fall and winter. I’m also the sort to approach scheduling and management and present a mutually beneficial alternative. You don’t get if you don’t ask.

No Such Thing as a Wasted Trip

It would be understandable if I were upset. After all getting a projector is a big part of my plan to create the Living Room Cinematheque. Without a projector the whole thing kind of falls apart, unless I can manage to convince people that staring at a blank wall is somehow entertaining.

Today I ventured out across town to meet the seller of the projector, do a little demo and hopefully seal the deal, giving me a super cheap solution to the projector problem. I got on the metro and headed out, almost to the end of the line, went to the designated meeting spot and ordered myself a coke. Five to ten minutes later my phone rang and the seller informed me that A) he was running late and B) he had just tested the projector and it was “acting funny.” He told me he’d call back in fifteen minutes trying to resolve the problem.

The night before I’d done some research on the projector, obsessively googling it and also checking out the alternatives on eBay. There were some misgivings from “the experts” about the video performance of the unit though consumers didn’t seem to mind. In terms of alternatives there wasn’t much in a comparable price range. It was either this or something substantially more expensive. I figured for the Living Room Cinematheque pilot project a cheap projector that wasn’t perfect would do just fine – at least until such time as I could afford something better.

Waiting for the seller to call me back I decided to explore the neighbourhood since its a part of Montreal I haven’t been in before. My interest was quickly piqued by a rather tall old smokestack and a large circular tower a few blocks away. I set out to discover what exactly this architectural marvel was. As I drew near I figured it out, the smokestack was the physical plant for Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine. Trying to get a closer view of the impressive old tower I ventured into one of the buildings. Immediately upon stepping onto the grounds though a strange feeling tingled at the back of my consciousness. As I walked the corridors I began to figure it out.

Checking up on Google when I got home confirmed it, Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine is a psychiatric hospital. The old halls were permeated with that distinct aura that inhabits these places. The people I saw in the halls had that forlorn, confused and in some cases totally removed look. Some hunched and uncommunicative, others alert to things that nobody could see but them. Electric maintenance trolleys and floor polishers rushed through the facility like busy worker ants, almost oblivious to the patients around them as they slid around with their quietly eerie electronic hum. Most of the hospital was quiet, forlorn, except for the area underneath the tower, the apparent nerve centre of the facility. Here a freight elevator waited to ferry supplies up and down the imposing structure and staff scurried back and forth. Temptingly one of the first doors I walked through was right next to a door marked “Tunnel Access” (in English no less), but psychiatric hospitals probably have more vigilant security than most, and I’d hate to be mistaken for a patient while trying to talk my way out of a sticky situation.

At the end of the day it was an inspiring backdrop with incredible story potential. Sad to think of what it was in reality though, with its fenced off outdoor yards and that panopticonic tower. Suffering from paranoia and delusions I’m sure that tower’s iconography and symbolic power did more to push patients to lurking paranoia then to stability and peace of mind.

With perfect timing the seller called me back as I was walking off the grounds and informed me that the projector still wasn’t working right and that it might be an issue with the fan. He apologized profusely but was glad it’d happened before he sold it rather than afterwards, and this in part is why I’m not upset.

Buying the projector and having it subsequently break on me would have been a much bigger hassle than going out and having a coke and home fries this morning. The projector probably wasn’t my best buy for my purposes despite the excellent price anyway, now I don’t have to worry about it. Not only that but I got to see things in the city that I haven’t yet seen – the eerie mental hospital and the science fiction inspiring Radisson metro station. It got me up and out of bed before noon which is something I haven’t done in… weeks. In the end much more good came of the experience than bad and I’m sure that before you know it I’ll find the perfect projector at a price I can live with. No worries.

So… I have every reason to be upset. But I’m not. I’m actually quite happy. Let’s see what else the day holds in store!

Synchronistic Happenings

Had a great chat with Amira a few nights ago in the pish posh Air Can lounge at YUL, and that as much as anything seems a great place to launch into a tale about the wonders of synchronicity and intentional living. As I left work I turned on my phone, and before I’d even left the building got a surprise SMS message from Amira that she was in the lounge sipping on fine scotch and I was invited to join her. Delightful. Mark one up on the board for lovely synchronicities, which is something we got to talking about. Good things just seem to happen to people who expect them, no planning, no work, just an awareness of what you want and the sensitivity to see when the universe is nudging you that way. So I thought I’d think back to some of those instances which have been bountiful recently.

Perhaps most recent are a couple of great little tidbits that I just had to be in the right place at the right time. First…

Living Room Cinematheque needs a projector. I mean that’s the only way you can really have a cinema is if you have a projector right? Now I was seriously contemplating dropping a cool ‘thou on a new unit, but fate had other plans. Idly browsing craigslist a couple of days ago I happened upon a decent projector, a couple of years old but still a trooper – barely used and selling for a cool $300. Bulbs cost more than that! The fellow who’s selling it seems friendly and nice and the only other people who’ve looked at it have been tire kickers. So tomorrow morning its mine. Living Room Cinematheque, VJing and photon street tagging are all a mere day away.

Next I’m applying for a new part time freelance job that I found out about quite by accident. One of my friends had an interesting little tag ling on her MSN that reminded me of an old blog post I’d made, so I sent it to her. She read it, declared my writing fantastic and recommended I check out a job posting from the company she freelances for. I read up on it, determined that I could definitely do it and… well I’m in the application process now. I’d say wish me luck, but I don’t need it. Send it along if you insist though, maybe it’ll spill over.

Other things include the super super 8 haul from a few weeks ago, the super 8 wedding gig, finding this apartment, getting a load of money to loan my old apartment out to a film crew, getting a deluge of film & video gigs right after being downgraded to casual at work, the perfect timing of my transfer to Montreal. That’s just big things off the top of my head, never mind all the little daily things that are beautiful and fantastic.

Intention is the key to controlling the events in our dreams – and isn’t waking life just another side of our dreams? Keep your focus, and keep your faith in yourself and the benevolence of the universe.

Comments on Dreams…

I’ve been paying more careful attention to my dreams lately. Thanks largely to the book. When I wake up I allow myself some time to reflect on my dreams, sometimes going back to sleep with the intention of revisiting them. When finally I do rouse myself from my swirl of sheets and cushions into the shower I spend the time replaying the dream events in my mind, trying to line them up in sequence and identify the origins of the various images.

I’m remembering my dreams almost every single night, and while I’ve yet to have that illusive lucid dream I none the less feel that my dreams are driven by more conscious intention than they have in the past. Whether that springs from a greater general peace of mind, or more concentration on my states of consciousness I don’t know – perhaps a bit of both.

A good example is flying. I think we all have flying dreams, after all who better oppressive force to rid ourselves of than that ever present force limiting us to this horizontal plane? I presume that each of us has flying dreams with their own character, their own technique and style. Myself flying is more about simply negating gravity then it is about soaring. I tend to float – with intention.

So then, I had a “floating” dream a couple of nights ago. When I think back my flying dreams were often cruel and taunting. I’d be able to fly at one point in the night, but after that initial incident of gravitational victory things would change. Thereafter flying would require tremendous concentration – if I could do it at all. Frustrating as hell. Well, the past few flying dreams it has been almost effortless and it has remained consistent. I get the feeling that if only I remembered I could fly, that I could fly in any dream and it would be as easy as walking.

Another power that frequently manifests itself along with flying, another “confidence” ability if you will is telekinesis. Well, yet again my dream abilities in that area have grown. I can pickup, push, pull and throw at a distance now if I concentrate. Not all the time, but much more frequently than before – whenever I remember that I can do it.

What else… Well…

Women. My dreams seem to be filled with beautiful women who find me equally attractive. I kind of feel like a king or emperor of yore with his personal harem of beauties. Interestingly enough though I could probably have sex right off the bat with any of them without a lot of preamble I find myself creating elaborate and extravagant courtships before anything so lustful. The last one involved underground adventures, a Turkish steam driven subway (morphed from Heritage Park in Calgary), reckless driving in Calgarian suburbs and Burning Man parties. It would seem that deep down, even in the depths of my subconscious I still enjoy the slow, luxurious courtship as much as I enjoy the carnal pleasures at the other end.

For right now I’m just reviewing my dreams in my head, not writing them down. I may begin to record them but for now I’m happy just with remembering.

My goal as I said before is lucid dreaming, but I wonder if I’m already skirting that territory without acknowledging it. Perhaps the lucid dream isn’t such an earth shattering experience, perhaps its more subtle, and of course as with all things it must happen in degrees. The greater control, confidence and recall I’m experiencing in my dreams could all be a part of that. Who knows? I’ll just continue to explore my dreamscape and see what emerges.

Treble and Bass

Montreal is certainly better for attracting musical acts than Calgary was. I’ve been out to see Buck 65 (if only the last bit of his set) and missed Gogol Bordello, DJ Shadow plus a good dozen other shows that would’ve been a blast to go see. Now the SAT has just announced a “small” concert by none other than Moby. Well shit. Should I go? $32 with all the taxes and fees, plus all that obligatory booze or other intoxicants. Hmmm. Well, if any of you out there are keen let me know. I’m more likely to do it if I’ve got a posse in tow than by my lonesome.

I’d love to ask him about the tropical artist’s resort idea that he’s reputedly working on with Charlie Rose…

Dear Editor formerly known at the Producer

Oh the hypnagogic… I’m already 100 pages into your delightful book, playing with my big grey noodle while I wring the pages for sweet intellectual ambrosia. Delicious.

I was stranded at Pearson for seven hours due to a flub up with my reservation. I spent the first bit in fitful starts of sleep, trying to make myself comfortable in the most isolated spot I could find. My bag was not really adequetely packed to function as a pillow. Fortunately I remembered something and made a point to persue it as soon as I could check in.

Westjet flights go out of B wing in terminal three. A busy, bustling nightmare of bodies and breath and clueless travellers. But under the tarmac and three magic carpets away lies something else, an airport oasis of a sort, unknown to all but the few…

A wing. Half a dozen gates that never, ever get used. The underground hallway to reach them is so long that the doors at the opposite end could stack one upon the other on your fingernail. A million miles away from the cow herding gridlock. The lights are on, once in a while a staffer wanders by in a neon orange vest, but for the most part you are totally alone. The storefronts are derelict, empty, no shelves, cash registers dead, nothing makes a sound.

If you’re stuck in Pearson, there’s no better place to spend a few hours, with 180 degrees of glass enclosed views, and nobody around.

This is where I dipped my toes into The Head Trip.

The combination of the engrossing subject matter and the isolation attuned my brain in a way that I rarely get to experience. Crystal fucking clarity. No convention, no expectation, just me, my brain and my senses. No society, no blathering crackling PA system. Clarity. Abandonment is such a beautiful place to find things.

When I boarded the flight I got a window seat, put my jacket in the porthole and immediately set out for the hypnagogic void. I think that’s why I enjoy sleeping on planes, busses and trains so much. Its a transitory space with nothing to do. No better place or time to play in the foyer of dreams, going down in bouts of ten to twenty minutes, interrupted only by drink service and snack mix.

Tonight I just finished reading The Wake and looked at my own sleep habits in the mirror, the natural unfiltered one. My wake is backwards and upside down, happening somewhere between noon and two pm. I did it today. Got up for a few hours around midday, then wandered back to sleep until about five or six. Now I’m ready for my night’s work, alert and ready to go.

I also think about those nights spent in the Temple of Respect, the Kanuckistan dome or piled among strangers around some deep playa fire sculpture while fireballs concuss nearby. Polyphasic tribal sleep is some of the most beautiful and restful I’ve ever had. Party crashouts might be the #1 way to go.

If I follow my own circadian rhythms I’ll probably be up until about seven. How I ended up with a nocturnal brain we may never know, but its how I roll.

Hope you’re doing well with your readjustment to work and a rum reduced diet.